The European Commission (EC) has announced that BS EN 954-1 can be used to support compliance to the European Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC for a further three years in spite of the introduction of new replacement standards.
For many years EN 954-1 has been followed for presumption of conformity to the Machinery Directive 98/37/EC. However, the two new standards – namely EN ISO 13849-1 and EN 62061 – were set to replace EN 954-1 on December 29 2009, and would have been the only control system standards accepted under the new European Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC. This change has been publicized for a long time and many machine builders and control system suppliers have invested time and money in preparing to follow the new standards.
The reason behind this change of heart is that many manufacturers are not yet ready to apply the replacement standard EN ISO 13849-1. After discussions at the last EC Machinery working group, the European Commission took the decision to postpone the date of cessation of presumption of conformity of EN 954-1, thereby extending the transition period until the end of 2012 and removing the time pressure that machine builders have, until now, been under.
This means that machine builders can now continue using the old standard, EN 954-1, for another three years, which unfortunately has the potential to delay advancements in machine safety.
The information is not yet visible on the EC website, but the reference EN 954-1 will appear in the next OJEU list to be published for 2006/42/EC in October-November.